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Blood Relations takes us inside the little-known world of the Canadian animal rights movement. Ridiculed by angry industries, vilified by scientists, and largely ignored by the media and the left, this grassroots phenomenon has enlisted a new generation of activists dedicated to changing the most basic political arrangements on the planet. Meet the people involved and the issue they raise. Extremists trade time in jail to save animals’ lives. Conservative welfarists struggle to hold their place in the established order. And dedicated, law-abiding advocates fight to make humans recognize that we are only one species among many with legitimate claims. Why does cruel and pointless animal research go on in near total secrecy, despite its public funding? Why does agriculture get a blanket exemption to routinely treat animals in ways that would bring criminal charges in a city setting? And aren’t the outcomes predictable when a political movement with a small but skilful outlaw wing is deliberately excluded from the political agenda?
…the usual sources of human evil-greed, ignorance and plain, slothful indifference-provide the sorry impetus for enough animal abuse horror stories to make Blood Relations as disheartening a reading experience as it is revelatory. It nonetheless needs to be told, and Montgomery is to be commended for having both the crisp analytical skills and moral foresight to tell it.
– Ray Robertson, The Toronto Star
A thorough, thoughtful, and very readable account of both the history and the present state of the animal rights movement(s)…the best thing about Blood Relations is Montgomery herself, whose sly humour and refreshing uncertainty poke through the convention of journalistic objectivity and make Blood Relations more of a philosophical memoir, a retelling of an intellectual and emotional journey, than simply another piece of radical tourism.
– R.M. Vaughan, THIS Magazine
Of greatest value is Montgomery’s publicizing of events, people, motives and issues that have so often been either ignored or misrepresented and ridiculed. I strongly recommend Blood Relations for its contribution to a Canadian examination of the issues it features.
– Barry Kent MacKay, The Toronto Star
Montgomery is an engaging writer who asks logical questions about the issues, and then answers them in a detailed, accessible manner…It is refreshing to see a journalist bring a sense of moral outrage to a book but still value subtlety over sledgehammer. Clearly sympathetic to the radical strand of the movement, Montgomery nonetheless gives all sides a fair hearing, and leaves us with provocative questions about the way humans treat their fellow creatures.
– Matthew Bahrens, Quill and Quire